What is activated charcoal powder and it's usage?
What is it?
Carbon is one element that exists in a plethora of forms, charcoal being one such. And activated charcoal is a term that has become the recent fad. The primary reason for the popularity is its adsorption property. It can bind with toxins and thus, be utilized in multiple scenarios.
How is it prepared?
For its production, substances like wood, coconut shells, coal etc are heated to a very high temperature. The activation process then frees up the bonding sites, and produces small, low volume pores. This increases the overall surface area available for adsorption. A gram of activated charcoal thus can have an effective surface area of 3000 square meters.
Going back to the basics, there are four types of coal: Peat, Lignite, Bituminous, and Anthracite. Out of these, peat is considered to have the maximum organic content (up to 60%). It is also the first step of the coalification process. What makes peat one of the preferred raw materials for the production of activated charcoal is the fact that it has a macroporous structure. This facilitates easier removal of the larger molecular compounds, thereby providing the vacant sites for adsorption.
Where can it be used?
Because there are no known side-effects to it, activated charcoal has a variety of benefits across different walks.
- The foremost is the water-filtration process, as it is able to adsorb both chemical and biological impurities.
- The same characteristic is put to use in case of detoxifying our bodies of the toxins. Not only this, it is able to help get rid of intestinal gases as well.
- Next in line are the cosmetic benefits of activated charcoal. It has proven to facilitate the removal of dirt, dust and other toxins from skin pores.
- Charcoal can also bind and remove odours and gases, thereby making it a useful deodorant.
- It also finds usage in the medical industry, as an agent to cure overdose and poisoning.
There is no denying that activated charcoal has an extensive list of health benefits. It has been historically used for domestic purposes, and is now a favorite ingredient of most of the off-counter products. And, rightly so. Have you joined in the activated charcoal bandwagon yet?
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Article contributed by: suganda saxena